Saturday, February 25, 2017

Families Can Be Together Forever

So grateful for our church doctrine that "Families Can Be Together Forever through Heavenly Father's plan."  I know it's true.  I'm so grateful to be on this mission helping to spread that message here in Kenya and Tanzania.

Two of our sons came for a very short visit.  What an uplift it was.  Families are so important and my kids mean the world to me.

At our recent Nairobi West Stake Conference, President Omondi, a counselor in the stake presidency,  spoke about his growing up years.  There were 9 children in his family.  His mother had died and his father was doing his best to raise the children.  At times they didn't know where the next meal would come from.  It was a very hard life.  President Omondi then talked about the importance of family and the importance of the gospel.  He instructed us as it says in James 1:5 to "ask God" not to "ask google!"  So profound!

I know with all my heart that families can be together beyond this life. 

LeRon hired one of our guards (who always carries a gun) to drive with him to the airport at 3 a.m. to pick Michael and Craig.  Kenyans say "pick" not "pick up."  Our mission rules are that we are not to drive after dark.  Our white faces show up too much in the dark!  And bad things can happen to white people in the dark!  We have wonderful guards whom we totally trust.

I was so happy to greet Michael and Craig.  After a couple hours' nap, they were ready to explore Nairobi with us.

Ha ha.  So funny.  Anyone who knows Craig, knows he's an expert on vehicles and that he's always looking at the new vehicles and all their features.  Who would guess that he would do that here in Nairobi?  But LeRon is looking for a new mission truck so . . . we went truck shopping in Nairobi on Craig's first day here.

And who would guess we would be looking at Fords?  We've never driven a Ford ourselves at home but it was recommended here in Nairobi.  Craig had praise for it.

So here are three Torries looking at a Ford!

Craig is also an expert at 3-dimensional computer imaging.  Here he is showing our neighbor children the new kitchen he has designed.  You can walk through it and see it from all angles.  The kids were fascinated.

Kids here don't spend hours and hours on electronic gadgets so they were so interested.  Kids here (at least in our compound) actually play outside.  They play outside for hours and hours.  There's a swimming pool and a trampoline and just sticks and things and they play so creatively.  Like I remember my kids playing when they were little.
Off to the Giraffe Center.  I know we are going to see giraffes at the Nairobi National Park but it's still cool to see them so close up and you can actually touch them too.

Craig and Michael have seen giraffes before but only in a zoo.  Also in the San Diego Wild Animal Park.  But this is cool to see them in their native land.
For $1000 to $2000 per night you can sleep in that hotel (in the background) and the giraffes will come and stick their heads into the windows.  No thanks.  I'm not that anxious for a giraffe to stick its head in my window.

Then it's off to Tamambo's for lunch.  This was part of the Karen Blixen (Out of Africa) estate.
Tamambo's has the best salmon in town.

LeRon and I usually share the salmon but this time he shared with Michael.  The restaurant will cut the piece of salmon in half and bring it on separate plates complete with yummy mashed potatoes and vegetables.
We have bought several paintings from Eric.  So interesting that his name is Eric.  My three sons are Michael, Craig, and Eric.  Now here they are:  Eric, Craig, Michael but Eric is a little different looking than my Eric!

Every night LeRon swishes the curtains with this mosquito racket and he zaps any mosquitoes that snuck in when the door was open.  They don't believe in screen doors around here.  That would be nice.  They also don't believe in screens on windows so we had a carpenter come and build us screens for the windows we like to keep open.

Michael and Craig and Elcan outside the Langata church building on Sunday.

After church, we drove the half hour to Rongai Ward for piano lessons.  Since Craig is so musical, I turned my job over to him for the day.  So nice.

So I visited with Pauline and her sweet little girls, Alexia and Amelia, while we waited for piano lessons to be over.

Black people really are beautiful!!!

LeRon spent the time teaching Samuel.  He's learning really fast.

Michael enjoyed the visit too.

Now here are the guys with Bishop Peter (in suit jacket) and his ward clerk.  Peter is Pauline's husband.  He's the age of my youngest son, Eric.
We always take visitors to the Kazuri Bead factory.  So interesting how they make gorgeous beads from dirt from Mt Kenya.  Four men turn this thing by hand to press the water out of the clay.

This seated woman has been hand-making Kazuri beads for 40 years!  She was excited to meet my sons especially when she learned that I have 5 children.  She was amazed.  Families used to be big in Kenya but are not anymore.

LeRon and I making supper in our tiny kitchen.  Not room for more than two to work.

We slipped next door (well, across the compound) to visit our landlord, Francis Nyenze, and his family.  Francis is Opposition Speaker in the Kenyan Parliament.  A wonderful man with a wonderful family. 

Then home to visit with our fine sons.

Michael is my first-born.  I call him my experimental child.  Poor guy.  I knew nothing about child-raising!  And I even graduated from BYU with a bachelor's degree in Social Work with a minor in Child Development.  Theory is nothing like the real thing!

My second-born son and again, another experimental child.  I think the Lord knew we know nothing about child-raising when he sends us children but He knows that somehow things work out!

Michael and Craig had to meet their safari guide at our Mission Office bright and early Tuesday morning.  They will spend the next 3 days in the Masai Mara.

So happy to introduce our sons to our mission president and wife, President and Sister Msane.  We love them a lot!

And a trip to Nairobi would not be complete without a visit to the Sheldrick Elephant Orphanage.

We didn't stay long.  Just long enough to get thoroughly splashed as the elephant babies played in the water on a hot day.

Nice to see Nairobi school children seeing the sights in Nairobi.

And on our last day, Stella came over to have Craig help her with her new Mac laptop.

Then off to the airport.  Good-bye my wonderful sons.  They were off to meet some friends, Julie and James, in Jerusalem.  Michael and Craig were going to drive them around to see the sights of Israel.  Our family loves Israel.  We have been there many times.  It never fails to touch us.  You never read the Bible the same after you've been to the Holy Land.


  1. Awww!! So glad they could go and visit you guys. Now I know where these places are!

  2. Michael, you need to learn how to smile again!!!! :)

  3. What a great family visit!